The east coast’s first double “breathing lung” transplant was successfully performed by a team at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) using the Organ Care System, also called the OCS lung, manufactured by TransMedics Inc, according to a UPMC press release.
The OCS lung machine works to maintain organs in a warm, functioning state outside of the body to optimize their health and allow continuous clinical evaluation. “Hearts beat, lungs breathe, kidneys produce urine, livers produce bile,” according to TransMedics.
The small, wheeled machine also monitors organs for arterial pressure, gas exchange ratio, vascular resistance and other data through embedded sensors to give doctors an immediate snapshot of the organ’s viability. Doctors at UPMC believe the device has the potential to keep them healthier and viable for longer than ever before.
“This is an exciting technology breakthrough that has the potential to increase the organ donor pool and improve outcomes for those receiving these specially perfused lungs,” said James Luketich, MD, chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.